The Spectrum Monitor — November, 2017

Stories you’ll find in our November, 2017 issue:

TSM Reviews: Yaesu FT-891 All-Mode HF+6 100-Watt Transceiver
By Mark Haverstock K8MSH

This month Mark takes a look at the Yaesu FT-891, one of the least expensive 100-watt, all-mode HF+6-meter radios on the market today. Mark finds that, “Its small size and remote head make it perfect for mobile/portable use, and its small footprint fits even on crowded desktops. The larger display is a welcome change, considerably more readable than the tiny ones on the FT-857D and FT-897D.” Mark also notes, “Those who own or have owned Yaesu radios will be used to the menu system, and will appreciate the attempts to provide easier access to some functions.” But that’s not all the 891 has going for it, as you’ll learn when Mark puts his 891on the air.

TSM Reviews: SpyVerter V2
By Bob Grove W8JHD

The earlier version of SpyVerter got a nod of approval from Bob Grove two years ago. But what would he say about this latest version? Spoiler alert! Bob says, “I’ve never changed my mind about the superiority of the Airspy spectrum-displaying receiver to its competitors. Now, with the addition of the previously-missing lower spectrum—virtually down to zero—this is a current leader in computer accessories for radio hobbyists.” In this month’s review he even tells how to use this device to monitor birds, animals and insects in the audio spectrum as well as the sounds of fish in the sea!

TSM’s Annual Scanner Buyer’s Guide
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW

The radio scanner world has been in flux since it began decades ago. And, while the number of manufacturers has shrunk over the years, the capabilities of these electronic marvels have kept pace with the changes. In this survey of all available scanners, Larry writes that, “bare bones, conventional analog-only scanners will run from just under $100. A good analog-only trunk-tracking scanner can be purchased for less than $200 (street price); however, if you need to monitor an APCO P25 Phase I digital trunked radio system, that price quickly jumps to around $400. Add in additional digital modes such as DMR and/or NXDN and APCO P25 Phase II systems and now you are looking at a sticker price north of $500 in most cases.” But, you may not need the latest technology where you live. Find out which scanner is best for your particular location.

Entry Level HF Transceiver Comparison
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

Are you a Technician class amateur radio licensee, looking to explore what is available in HF transceivers in a price range that won’t break the bank? HF operation requires a little more commitment than VHF/UHF FM gear and, while you can easily pick up a high-quality monoband mobile for under $200 or a dual-band portable in the same price range, HF gear is going to run you a bit more. Considering all that you get in the deal though, it’s still reasonably priced. Cory takes a comparative look at what Alinco, Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu have in the way of 100-watt, entry-level offerings, with a street price of less than $800. With the need for a 20A power supply and simple antenna, a “Kilobuck” budget should certainly get you on the air or perhaps even less.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Scanning Midwest Utilities’ DMR Services

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
New Kennedy Space Center Trunked System

Milcom
By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Who’s Who in the Milcom Radio Spectrum: Monitoring the HF OR Frequencies

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman NV6H
Rethinking HF Emergency Communications

Shortwave Utility Logs
Compiled by Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
The Leonids Meteor Shower

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
Antenna Tuner Secrets

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
Cruising the FM Band with a Little Help from the Web

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
The Sun Blasts a Hole in Earth’s Magnetic Shield

World of Shortwave Listening
By Keith Perron
Rich O’Shea: An American DJ in Asia

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
BBC Broadcasts to North Korea; Reach Beyond Australia and Religion on Shortwave

Amateur Radio Astronomy
By Stan Nelson KB5VL
Solar Eclipse VLF Effects

The Longwave Zone
By Kevin O’Hern Cary WB2QMY
2200m/630m: Are You Registered Yet?

Adventures is Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Putting the Spark back into a Sparks-Withington (Sparton 141X)

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Transformations: Getting From X to 50

The Spectrum Monitor is available in PDF format which can be read on any desktop, laptop, iPad®, Kindle® Fire, or other device capable of opening a PDF file. Annual subscription is $24. Individual monthly issues are available for $3 each.

Ken Reitz, KS4ZR, is publisher and managing editor of The Spectrum Monitor. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “The Spectrum Monitor — November, 2017”

  • Christian Swensingsen KD2LIN:

    I’m confused. I got an email notice of an article, followed to the site, want to read. *I am a subscriber*. I cannot (simple that I am) find a way to log in and download this issue. What am I missing, and why is it so difficult? (Asking in a friendly way, I build some web sites and know the importance of feedback on UX>)

  • timothy lyle kies KA8KRV:

    I love getting your e-mails everyweek. I learn much from them as I had been out of the hobby for years. Now, getting back in, I learn so much has changed, but much has also remained the same. The main differences are that there many more people using much more modern computers in the operations and predictions of band expectations. I am active on 2 meter fm, but looking at getting into hf. I was a novice, then a tech plus, then worked my way up to general, all just by studying the ARRL studybooks. Until I get into hf in a bigger way, I won’t get into a higher class license. But then, who knows, it might prove worthwhile. Here in michigan, we have a linked repeater system that is great. But the Hf is just such a wide open area, that I have to get going on that. Thanks for your work every day, and keep up the efforts, they are not in vain.

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